PC • We’ve been pulling on the same pair of jeans for twenty five-odd years when it comes to space empire builders. The comfortable fit of a SimTex stonewash is time-tested, and its reliable density drags all and sundry towards the event horizon. As such, you wouldn’t be alone in feeling a wee twig of ennui towards the galactic overlord genre. The outliers are few, but one new tantalising project is tilting at trading the star lane traipse for something different. A little more, ahem, stately. [Dave, take note. This is how we use the word “stately”. -ed.]
iOS Universal, Android • The end of every game of Battle of Polytopia is an exercise in building self-esteem. I finish each game feeling great about how I did and then see my score is several hundred thousand points behind anyone on the leaderboards. Hooray for me! The only thing that would be more gut wrenching would be your friends personally crushing you in-game. That’s what we have to look forward to as Battle of Polytopia gets updated with multiplayer in February.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • My kids had nearly two weeks off school for the holiday break, which usually translates to some of my worst headaches of the year. Not only are the kids home, but they’re hopped up on gingerbread and peppermint not to mention the entitlement that comes along with being told they’re “good” based solely on presents received from a mystical fat guy. This year was a little different. First of all, two of my kids have seen the light in regards to Santa, so they know those Xbox games came directly from their already meager inheritance rather than an elvish sweat shop. Secondly, I managed to be good enough that Santa brought me a new iPad Pro [speaking of entitlement -ed.], so I spent these last two weeks breaking it in with marathon sessions of Civilization VI.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • Yesterday saw one of the biggest surprise releases to ever land on the App Store, Civilization VI. Yes, THAT Civilization VI. The one with Sid Meier in the title and Boromir doing the voice-overs. The one that takes days to finish a game, with full tech trees, barbarians, city states, and enough different Civs to fill a tiny UN. It’s the real deal, with a real price, and it’s on the App Store.
iOS Universal, Android • If Through the Ages is a little too much, or you just need your 4X fix without burning your gray matter, Battle of Polytopia is there. Yes, this little, free game is everything you want in a 4X civ-builder, distilled down to a 10 minute playtime. It also keeps getting bigger with more and more civilizations added to the mix. Last night a new civilization arrived, the Quetzali tribe.
iOS Universal, Android • We’re only a week away from Through the Ages–the reason I bought an iPad 2 six years ago–finally appearing on the App Store. In preparation, Czech Games Edition has just launched the first official trailer and, well, I’m not sure I need to say much more than that. See you all in-game next Thursday!
iOS Universal, Android • Nearly seven years ago I picked up my first iPad, the stalwart iPad 2. The decision to pick up a tablet had nothing to do with Apple’s selling points, but instead was based on a short blurb I spotted over on Board Game Geek. Through the Ages, my favorite tabletop game, was slated to make its way to the platform and there was no way I was going to miss it. That blurb was from a small company called Codito, which nearly did release a version of TtA before their license ran out and digital rights reverted back to CGE. That happened back in January of 2013 and we’re still waiting. After talking with Czech Games Edition at Gen Con, it appears we won’t have to wait much longer.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Back in April, Czech Games unleashed the online beta for Through the Ages, the app that we’ve all been waiting for since before iPads were even a thing. Several Stately Players were in the beta and it was all very fun for a time, but then other games arrived, and, with the beta remaining somewhat stagnant, most of us moved on. A few weeks ago, the beta added the ability for AI bots to join multiplayer games if someone dropped, which had been the biggest advancement we’d seen. The latest beta update, however, pushes TtA into a whole new realm of awesome.
iOS Universal, Android • Last week an observant reader pointed me toward a Touch Arcade story in which they praise the game, A Planet of Mine, to the high heavens. Having not heard of this apparently hidden gem, I immediately went and downloaded it and…well, I’m not sure. Is it worth downloading? Absolutely. Is it the bee’s knees? Depends on how smart the bee is.
iOS, Android • Few games do what they set out to do as well as Battle of Polytopia. Create a 4X game with depth and strategy that plays in 20 minutes? We can do that. Part of that success comes with developer Midjiwan‘s constant tinkering. Their latest update is set to arrive on Thursday, and it will introduce a new clan to the mix.